ERIC Number: ED188948
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Young Children's Understanding of Addition and Subtraction: A Contextual Analysis.
Klein, Alice; Beilin, Harry
This study sought to determine the basis for young children's understanding of fundamental addition and subtraction processes, and to expose any limitations on such arithmetic reasoning. Thirty-six two-year-olds and 36 three-year-olds participated in six experiments which examined children's relational quantity judgments about pairs of arrays in static and transformation conditions. There were two principal conclusions drawn from the investigation. First, the judgments of two-year-olds reflected chance responses on all problems, whereas three-year-olds' judgments indicated an understanding of the fundamental addition and subtraction processes studied. This difference in performance attests to a qualitative difference in the arithmetic knowledge of these two age groups. Second, although three-year-olds manifested an understanding of fundamental addition and subtraction, approximately half of these children based their reasoning exclusively on quantity transformation. Their failure to evaluate the outcome of the quantity transformation in making relational judgments about altered arrays reveals an important limitation on early arithmetic reasoning. (Author/MK).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Mathematics Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the Southeastern Conference on Human Development (Alexandria, VA, April 17-19, 1980).